Under-fire England head coach Stuart Lancaster insists he does not fear the imminent review into his failure to guide the team past the group stage of their home World Cup.
England face Uruguay in their final Pool A match on Saturday in Manchester, having already been consigned to an early exit following defeats to Wales and Australia at Twickenham.
Lancaster has a contract until 2020 but his position is among those likely to come under intense scrutiny when the Rugby Football Union picks through the debris in the coming weeks.
“There will be a lot made out of the review that is to come,” said the former England Saxons coach. “I have no problem with the reviews; I’ve conducted them myself in age-grade teams – 18s, 20s, Saxons – and after every tournament or Six Nations I’ve had there has been a review. The whole purpose of them is to get better.”
Lancaster attempted to play down a training-ground clash between his assistant Mike Catt and fly-half Danny Cipriani, hours before the Sale No10’s omission from the final squad was announced.
“There are two sides to every story,” he added. “From my point of view, everybody knows Mike Catt pretty well. I saw it and I had a good chat with both of them, everybody shook hands and it was all done in a short space of time and we all moved on. It’s no problem. Things like that happen occasionally with so many players in the camp, but it’s a non-story for me.”
An England side featuring eight changes from last week’s 33-13 loss to the Wallabies is expected to sign off on a high note against whipping boys Uruguay, though Lancaster is taking nothing for granted in what could be his final game in charge.
“In the three games, they’ve stuck in for the full 80 in every game,” he said. “They have specific tactics. They don’t contest line-outs and put very few players in the breakdowns. They are very proud to play for their country, so if we decide to run the ball from everywhere we will make life difficult for ourselves.”